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5 Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

People talking about the benefits of medication-assisted treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction is an evidence-based approach to combatting opioid use disorder (OUD) that remains greatly misunderstood. Traditional 12-step-based programs believe that using medications as part of addiction treatment is like trading one addiction for another.

The fact is, when used properly, the FDA-approved drugs used in MAT are highly effective. At MD M.A.T.T. Washington, D.C., we believe that addiction is a disease and that using MAT in a comprehensive treatment plan is no different from using medicines to treat other chronic diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Our medication-assisted treatment program provides highly supervised care by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, counselors, and psychiatrists who are leaders in the field of OUD treatment. We recognize that MAT is not for everyone. Call 202.933.5583 to speak to one of our team to learn more about the benefits of medication-assisted treatment.

What Are the Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment?

At MD M.A.T.T. Washington, D.C., we focus on Suboxone treatment to help patients overcome opioid use disorder. We know from research and experience that using MAT fosters longer stays in OUD treatment programs and produces better outcomes for lasting recovery.

Five significant benefits of using MAT to help break the cycle of opioid addiction are:

  • Safer and more comfortable detoxification
  • Increased commitment to seeking and remaining engaged in treatment
  • Decreased illicit drug use
  • Improved physical and mental health and overall well-being
  • Reduced risk of relapse

Agencies, including the American Medical Association and the National Institutes of Health, endorse MAT’s effectiveness in treating opioid use disorder. Other notable benefits include reduced risk-taking behaviors, including criminal activities, and a marked reduction in overdoses and morbidity.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and Withdrawal

Most people with opioid use disorder have experienced withdrawal symptoms at some point. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to extreme pain, depending on the level of dependence or addiction. The fear of withdrawal symptoms is a common reason people continue to abuse opioids even when they know the risks of OUD and want to stop.

Individuals who try to stop using opioids on their own rarely succeed because of the intensity of their withdrawal symptoms. There are several stages of opioid withdrawal:

  • Anticipatory – Sets in three to four hours after the last use and is marked by increasing anxiety or fear about experiencing withdrawal, cravings, and drug-seeking behaviors.
  • Early acute – This stage begins eight to ten hours after the last dose. Symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, and flu-like symptoms. Cravings and drug-seeking behaviors become stronger.
  • Fully developed acute – This stage occurs one to three days after the last dose. Symptoms are at their peak, with tremors, muscle spasms, insomnia, and digestive issues. Cravings are the most intense during this phase.
  • Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) – This phase can last up to 24 months after the last dose. Acute symptoms decrease, but individuals may experience anxiety, depression, mood swings, insomnia, and more. Cravings still exist, and individuals are highly susceptible to triggers for relapse.

Medication-assisted treatment helps to minimize withdrawal symptoms by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain. For the most part, Suboxone can be administered 12 hours after the last dose of opioids, preventing the most difficult stages of withdrawal. Patients not focused on withdrawal symptoms can better direct their attention to treatment and recovery.

What Should You Expect from OUD Treatment?

MD M.A.T.T. in Washington, D.C., understands the unique challenges of opioid use disorder and specializes in creating individualized treatment plans using Suboxone-focused MAT. Our clinic is staffed with a highly-trained team of doctors, counselors, and psychiatrists passionately dedicated to helping end the opioid epidemic. We believe that effective treatment of OUD should be accessible to all. In addition to medication-assisted treatment, we provide:

  • Transportation for Medicaid patients
  • Telehealth treatment services
  • Detoxification services
  • Case management services
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Community support services

MD M.A.T.T. believes in bringing medicine, technology, and community together to help patients heal from opioid use disorder.

Learn More About the Benefits of MAT at MD M.A.T.T. Washington, D.C.

As part of an integrated, comprehensive treatment plan, MAT helps patients overcome OUD and experience lasting recovery. Contact MD M.A.T.T. Washington, D.C., today at 202.933.5583 to learn more about the benefits of MAT and how MAT can help you or your loved one.